Eps 455: Kristen Duke helps us build more trust with our teens

Episode 455

Talking with Kristen Duke, mentor to parents of teens, and full of enthusiasm for what we can create when we work on building a relationship founded on trust. Kristen guides us through some blind spots parents have that get int the way of a connection, and how to be the person our adolescents need.

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Takeaways from the show

  • The importance of building trust and connection with teenagers to help them make healthy choices
  • The role of trust in teenagers’ decision-making and the importance of maintaining a loving, connected relationship.
  • Understanding the underlying reasons behind a person’s actions, rather than just focusing on the surface-level behavior.
  • The importance of trust in a parent-teen relationship, stating that teens are more likely to open up to a trusted parent.
  • Common mistakes parents make that can break trust with their teen, such as yelling or giving unsolicited advice.
  • Blind spots that get in the way of building trust
  • The downside of advice giving
  • Working on our blind spots and actively trying to break the habits of controlling and overreacting
  • Being with our teenagers’ emotions: validate their feelings, ask for permission to give advice, and showing trust in their ability to handle situations.
  • Catastrophizing  as common blind spots for parents
  • The trigger of teens lying, and how to look for solutions
  • Practices and strategies for continuing to work on our blind spots

Find Kristen:

website | instagram

I think having that courage to step into discomfort, to step into repair of yourself of your emotional regulation. And to instead of seeing that as like, drudging, through like, “Oh, I’m so terrible, this is what I have to do”… Instead, thinking about what comes on the other side of that – this joyful relationship that you have an opportunity to have.

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Kristen Duke, Casey O'Roarty

Casey O'Roarty 00:03
Hey, welcome to the joyful courage podcast a place for inspiration and transformation as we try and keep it together, while parenting our tweens and teens. This is real work people. And when we can focus on our own growth, and nurturing the connection with our kids, we can move through the turbulence in a way that allows for relationships to remain intact. My name is Casey already, I am your fearless host. I'm a positive discipline trainer, space holder coach and the adolescent lead at Sproutsocial. I am also the mama to a 20 year old daughter and 17 year old son walking right beside you on this path of raising our kids with positive discipline and conscious parenting. This show is meant to be a resource to you and I work really hard to keep it real, transparent and authentic so that you feel seen and supported. Today is an interview and I have no doubt that what you hear will be useful to you. Please don't forget sharing truly is caring. If you love today's show, please pass the link around snap a screenshot posted on your socials or texted to your friends. Together, we can make an even bigger impact on families all around the globe. I'm so glad that you're here. Enjoy the show.

Casey O'Roarty 01:19
All right. Welcome back, listeners. I'm so glad that you're here. And I'm really excited to introduce my guest for today. Her name is Kristin Duke Kristin studied child development in college and is raising four of her own kids through their adolescence. She shares so much wisdom on her Instagram. And that is where I came across her work. So much of what she offers to parents aligns so well with what we all are working on doing here and the joyful courage community. I knew I had to have her on to talk more. So hi, Kristen, welcome to the podcast.

Kristen Duke 02:03
Hello. Thank you so much. Very happy to be here.

Casey O'Roarty 02:05
Yeah, you are a mentor to so many parents of teens. What got you into doing the work that you do?

Kristen Duke 02:13
Well, I do love teenagers. And I noticed that a lot of parents, teachers don't necessarily seem to love teenagers. I mean, I can't figure out why. But I mean, it is a challenging time in life. And I basically just decided I need to give more support to parents, I want to help teach them how to be better cheerleaders. It originally started with that. But then I was digging deeper as my kids were teens themselves. And I didn't have such a smooth relationship with my mom as a teenager. And so I was trying to figure out how to combat that. help parents learn all the things myself share all the things that I was learning. And it just became this, you know, just this love and this passion of mine as I was learning and growing and fumbling myself to just share it all at the same time.

Casey O'Roarty 03:03
I think it's such a gift. And I'm the same way. So basically, I'm calling myself a gift. You're welcome. I think it's so powerful when people are willing to share about what's hard, and where their growth edges are and what they're moving through. And I just think it's normalising that it's such a messy season of parenting, right? It's just messy, regardless of doing the right thing or whatever, right? It's messy.

Kristen Duke 03:32
Yeah, it's messy. It's tricky. And honestly, I was nervous to step into it. Because I had been blogging for a while. My background is photography, and I shared photo tips and lifestyle and recipes and all this kind of stuff. And when I started transitioning into something more specific into the teens, it was because I noticed there was a need for it. But my oldest was 1516 himself. And I was nervous that I was like throwing all this advice, and what if my child ends up on the streets and then you know, part of it, I was worried because I didn't want my teens to see me as a hypocrite. So I was like, I gotta step up my game, right. And at the same time, I was like, I can't promise that what I'm sharing is going to make your teenager turn into this, you know, model of society. But then I kind of as I kept sharing and just pushed through some of those doubts that I had and concerns. I honed into what is my real passion right now, which is to have that relationship and I kind of came to this realisation it doesn't matter why gets laying on the street, because what I'm working on is myself and my relationship with him with them. And I can stand by that no matter what my child if they're doing drugs, you know, if there's an unsuspecting, I don't know robbery or anything crazy like that. It doesn't matter because what I'm working on is my relationship with him. And so once I was able to step through that I realised, okay, you know, working on ourselves, but I think a lot of parents come to my space saying like, how do I talk

Kristen Duke 05:00
To my teens about dating, how do I talk to my teens about vaping? Yeah, and I share that kind of information. But at the base of it is, when you're trusted, when you have this connected relationship with your teenager, they're more likely to listen to you and trust that what you're saying is truth. And they're going to stay away from the scary things because they trust you. They trust what you have to say. And it's just kind of amazing how that all works together. But nobody wants to hear you got to work on yourself. Yeah, if you want to have a relationship with your teenager, you know, right. Like, why is my team so crazy?

Casey O'Roarty 05:33
Right? How do I fix my team? How do I change? How do I fix them? Yeah. When

Kristen Duke 05:37
it's like, the magic is when you fix yourself? It kind of happens. Yeah,

Casey O'Roarty 05:44
I know. It's not 100%.

Kristen Duke 05:45
You know, the time there's still challenges, like you said, there's mess, there's a lot of mess. But I think a lot of parents are so triggered by the mess, that it really fractures the relationship. And so just teaching yourself to not be so triggered by the mess,

Casey O'Roarty 05:59
right? Like, here's a fire. Let me add some kindling to it. Yeah, no, don't do that. I love that, you know, the people that are listening are like, oh, yeah, this makes perfect sense why Casey would want to talk to Kristin, because that's what I'm centering is relationship and building trust. And we're increasing the likelihood, right? They're gonna make healthy, logical choices, right? But that's the key words, like we're increasing the likelihood. But at the end of the day, they walk out the door, and they make the choices, right? And when you have that loving, connected, trusting relationship, and they make the choice that you're not so thrilled about. And they get into some trouble, they know that they can come back and say, Yeah, God, I really screwed up. And that is huge. When they need us the most,

Kristen Duke 06:45
it really is, you know, it's all about that safety of imagine they do make not the great decision. And they say, I know that my mom is safe, I know that I can go talk to her, and she's going to help me figure out how to get out of this mess, or have figured out how to walk through this mess or hold my hand through this mess. You know? Yeah. So it really does all come back to that. And so many people have a hard time wrapping their brains around that concept. And I think just because I've dug into it so much, and I've done so much of my own research, it makes so much sense to me. And I saw a post the other day about punishments. And it's such a hot topic and with parenting because they feel like, let's just say trying drugs, your teen tries drugs, of course, you have to punish them. Because that's what society says is that you're supposed to do that. And you know, this post that I read, she's like, I haven't punished any my kids. And you know, she listed all of these, you know, positive effects that came from that. And so like I said, I haven't had kids that have gotten into drugs. So it's something that I've studied up and learned on how to work with it. But it's not something that I've had personal experience with. But I think they're less likely, like you said, increase the likelihood to do those things, because they don't feel any reason to need it. But there's always the outliers, and there's always things that will happen. There's also the teen brain. But like you said, they'll come because they know that I'm not going to freak out. Yeah, I'm going to be a little bummed about it. Yeah, I'm not going to be like, Oh my gosh, this is the end of the world. And I used to think some things were the end of the world, I used to think, Oh, my kids get into porn, or my kids do drugs, or my kids, you know, have a relationship. But it goes further than I think that should I used to think that was the end of the world. And a lot of my perspective shifted towards No, well, like mistakes. If they make a mistake like that, it's gonna be a bummer, but I'm gonna help learn it and see the other side. Because otherwise, they're shamed, and they're gonna keep repeating those things, because they're feeling shame and disappointment from the person that's supposed to just love them unconditionally.

Casey O'Roarty 08:37
Right. And they're gonna go underground. Right? Yeah, I mean, we've had all the things show up at our house. And every single time it's a opportunity, like I really hold it as like, okay, let's talk about this, you know? Yeah. And let's talk about this meaning like, I'm really curious. I want to know, because behaviours, purposeful behaviour is also a solution to a problem we don't know about. And so I'm really curious about what is that problem? What is the driver that's moving you in this direction? Like, that's where we get to look for solutions, right? Yes.

Kristen Duke 09:12
I was thinking of an analogy. One of my favourites is the iceberg. Oh, yeah. I talked a lot about the iceberg. The tip of the iceberg is what they're doing. I'm talking about drugs. We'll talk about what's underneath the iceberg. Why are they feeling that they want to do that? Are they just wanting some freedom? Because they don't feel like they have freedom? Is that a peer pressure thing? Is it a loneliness thing? Is it you know, depression, you know, there's so many different reasons and when you do that, get curious not furious. Get curious enough the questions find out what's underneath, like, you're just seeing the tip. Yeah, what's underneath the surface?

Casey O'Roarty 09:45
Yeah. And I don't think that they are consciously like, a certain way. So I'm going to try weed right, like right. What I love about that process is we're also supporting them in connecting their own dots of like, oh, yeah, because Have our curiosity and I was just on a call with a client, the context of our conversation was about just kind of cleaning up the mistaken messages that were being sent by the dad to the child about school in particular. I said, you know, one way that we do that is you can kind of make fun of yourself just around like, you know, when we talk about school, and I get kind of intense, and I ask all these questions, but ultimately, you know, where I'm heading and you know what I know, you know, what I want you to think about? And he was like, Yeah, I did one of those conversations this morning. But basically, I was just kind of justifying why I'm so wise, and why I give my opinion. And I teased him. I was like, I wasn't cleaning up. He's like, No, I know, I see that. And, again, like, there is some lightness, like what you said about not being the end of the world, they're gonna make mistakes, right? And listeners, I know, you hear me say this all the time, they're going to make mistakes. Granted, for sure, there are things that teenagers can get into that are life altering, life altering, right, the vast majority of the mistakes your kids are going to make are not going to be life altering in the way that you're holding that and when you can let go of that, and be with them, and be curious and to trust. And I think what you're talking about really is trusting the process, trusting their learning process, their narrative, they're unfolding of life experiences, when you can trust and inside of their relationship with you. When you can trust that on the other side, they're going to be fine. Yeah, no more than fine, because they will have learned from the mistakes that they made. I think that's so powerful. So clearly, everyone, we're talking about trust. And I think, Kristen, you'll have to let me know what you hear. When parents talk about trust, it kind of falls into this idea of what I want to trust that my kids are going to not make any mistakes. Right? Yeah. And it's such a setup. It's such a setup, because they're wired to push limits, to try things out. Whatever thing you know, to take some risks. So when I talk about trust, it's really about one, I want to trust that my kids can learn from their mistakes. And two, I want them to trust me, right, that they can come to me and not feel worse, about whatever it is that's going on with them. Right? Yeah. When you talk about trust, what does it sound like? Yeah, so

Kristen Duke 12:40
most of the trust that I discussed is about becoming trusted by your teenager. That's kind of my little side tagline. And I've been thinking about it lately. I think some people when they hear that line, get it. And I feel like oh, because I've had people say What do you mean, if I don't have you know, enough background to it, you know, become trusted by your teenager, you know, broken down, that is when you're trusted, that means you're safe place for them to come. That means they're gonna want to listen to you and not roll their eyes or be annoyed by your advice and suggestions. When you're trusted, they're gonna want to talk to you when they're sad. And even when they're happy. I didn't want to tell my mom when I had good news, either, or definitely not sad news. But definitely not like excitable news. I just wanted to be like, even keeled. So if you have a teenager, that's like, fine, because so many people say they just go to the room, they just give me one word answers. And part of it is teams don't feel safe with themselves, they're uncomfortable with themselves, their brains and bodies are under construction, they've got emotions that they don't know how to deal with, they've got so many things going on inside of their mind and body that you can't see. So that's one level of it, maybe like their parents fine. But they're already uncomfortable with themselves. And if there's anything that you're doing, such as you know, yelling, I'll give an example. Because a lot of parents, we get overwhelmed, we get stressed, we have a lot on our plates. It's easy to get overwhelmed, and it's easy to lose your crap and to yell and to make that correlation to realise that's breaking trust, you know, the things that you do. I talk about blind spots, I have this private community. And it's all about outlining blind spots. It is kind of funny, because my delivery is like, Hey, if you want to learn all the things that you're doing wrong as a parent, join my community. And you know, I got to sell it a little bit differently. But it really is if you want to become trusted by your teenager, if you want them to talk to you if you want them to listen to you. You have to be trusted. How are you not trusted? Well, there's these little things this this this, this and this, that you're doing a break trust and you don't realise it their blind spot it's just like when you're driving, you don't realise you're doing X y&z You don't realise that giving advice over and over, is actually making your teammate Feeling capable and when they feel incapable. They're not feeling with all the warm fuzzies because you're the person that they feel incapable in front of. So yeah, why would they want to come to you? Why do they want to hear what you have to say? So it all just blends in and ties to each other. But like I said, I need to find a better way to make it more concise. Marketing. Yeah, I got it.

Casey O'Roarty 15:26
Well, I always laugh because I do a six week positive discipline class for parents of teens. And by week two or three, they're like, Oh, this is about me. I'm like, I don't put so much in the marketing, because like you said, it's like, they don't realise that's their pain point. Yes. Right. Right. And I wonder too, like, as I listen to you talk, and I have some questions about blind spots for you. But before we go there, it's interesting, too, because by the time our kids become teenagers, they've had a lifetime of experiencing us in the good in the bad and the hard in all of the different ways. And so

Kristen Duke 16:03
they know or not by the time.

Casey O'Roarty 16:06
Yeah, and they know what feels good to share and what feels or even not even what feels bad, but where there's uncertainty. Yeah, like, I don't know how you're gonna respond, but I'm gonna keep myself safe from your judgement, right? I'm not coming to you with this. Yeah. Right. And there's that built up armour over time. And so that work of dismantling what has been developed in the dynamic, right is a big piece of this puzzle, too. So talking about blind spots. I love this. I'm so excited. What are the indicators that we've got blind spots?

Kristen Duke 16:45
You know, I guess I'd say everybody has blind spots. I mean, I've been working on a lot of these things. And I still have my own personal blank. One of mine is old, too, that I've worked on a lot. And I have seen growth, but it's still a challenge for me is offering advice, because Hello, I've got so much like wisdom. Why wouldn't you want to listen? I mean,

Casey O'Roarty 17:05
you have an Instagram following Come on. Have you seen my numbers kid?

Kristen Duke 17:12
Every 40 year old mom has more wisdom than their 15 year old teenager? Yes, a fact of life. Totally all of us do. So one of the blind spots is when you kind of know and realise that when you're continuously like, oh, you should do this. Did you email your teacher? Did you check your backpack? Did you put your homework in your backpack, you call your friend, or text your friend back? That seems rude when you don't text your friend. All of those things are like, yes, it's true. All of this advice, giving and wisdom. And at the same time I mentioned a second go, they feel less capable, they're annoyed, they were planning to do it, they just hadn't gotten around to doing it yet. And so what I say is, you know about advice, you don't have to stop, because you do have wisdom to share the thing about your delivery, think about how you're doing it. You know, one thing as I say, Don't shut on your teenager, don't use the word shut. If you can eliminate the word should as one small actionable thing that you can just do today. A lot of parents use that word. And I think that's like they don't want to get, I don't want to hear you should do this. Because I can get it myself. And another blind spot that I have is that I get my feelings hurt. If they don't take my advice, or if they're, you know, upset, I feel like it's all about me. And I feel like I've had to remind myself, their mess isn't because I didn't teach them well, or, you know, a lot of parents kind of bring it all back to themselves. And then it projects back to their teenager, like, my feelings got hurt, because you didn't, you know, do this and this and this, and they don't need to carry your emotions, you know, they don't need to have that placed on them. So like I said, those are two things that have been super hard for me to break. And I recognise now when I do it, and I'm still actively working on it. But I mean, everybody does have blind spots. And so part of it is you don't know what you don't know. And even like controlling, I don't think any parent will like to admit, oh, yeah, I'm controlling and most people don't think that they are. So when I outlined in the controlling, you know, module, it's like, this is what controlling looks like, you probably unintentionally doing this. Yeah. So I'm going to open up your eyes to take off the blindfold. So now you know, because you can't do better until you know better, right? And so now that you know, you can start to take action, and it feels like an uphill battle. And I'm talking about about Be patient with yourself. It takes practice, just like playing the piano. Just because you learn the notes doesn't mean you can play this masterpiece. You have to give yourself grace and patience. And I talk a lot about apologising and repair. Yeah, if you're new to this journey, bring your teenager into it. Say hey, I just want to let you know, I'm working on my reactions. I'm working on blind spots. I recognise I have them will you patiently work on this journey with me? And when they know and see, and they might remind you, which is painful, like Oh, I thought you were gonna stop yelling or I thought you're gonna stop giving advice. Thank you for reminding me. Yeah. Appreciate you reminding me because I am working on it, you know, and so they might not say in the nicest way, but feedback is a gift. When you hear that feedback instead of internalising it and going on the corner and crying about your progress, just say, You know what, I am grateful that he pointed that out to me. And like I said, when you bring your teenager into it, I think the progress goes a little bit quicker, even though it has to get worse before it gets better. Yeah,

Casey O'Roarty 20:23
yeah, yeah, of course. Because they're like, I know you. I've seen you do this. You're telling me you're gonna Stop overreacting we'll see. Yeah, right. We'll see. And then that's an invitation to like commit, right? Trust the process. Trust the word. Yes. What are some other typical blind spots? By the way? I was like, oh, advice, giving? Yes. And taking things personally, yes, my daughter and I finally worked out a system where most of the time now I'll say because she just kind of will. Usually it's via text, but there'll be like one sentence that's like totally activating for me, then off to pause and say, Okay, do you want me to just be with this? Do you want my advice? Right, what do you need here? And she's like, Oh, I just needed to get it out. Okay, great. And then I get to manage. Yeah.

Kristen Duke 21:13
And I love that. And I feel like that is a conversation that I've heard a lot. I just was hearing Mel Robbins on a podcast with her young adult and teenage son. And her daughter is like, yeah, that actually annoys me when you say, Yeah, nobody just listened or to me to validate you. So I thought that was interesting. Because I feel like, Oh, we've learned to say jump in and listen, or do you want to offer advice? And her daughter's like, yeah, that annoys me. That's fine. Oh, we gotta be crafty again. But one of my favourite things to say about advice giving is, you know, let's say your teenager, they feel safe enough to come vent to you. Great. You're in a good spot if they're venting to you, right? Yeah, another blind spot is toxic positivity, where it's like finding the silver lining. Oh, I'm so good at that. Oh, my gosh, my friends totally bailed on me at lunch. And I sat by myself. And they're probably talking about me behind my back and this and that. And of course, Mom wants to come in and fix things. Like, they probably weren't talking about you. Or no, you just need to reach out to them. And it's probably going to be okay, like, it's the fixer, right. We want to come in, we want to fix the weapon to feel better. Perfect. Yes. Want to make them feel better? No, we have to rewire ourselves to say, take out stakes. Yeah, I wouldn't be sad. If that happened to the home validating. That does sound terrible. I got a message from a mom the other day that she's like, my daughter did this. And I told her, I knew that she was the problem with her friends. And it was probably her fault. And I was like,

Casey O'Roarty 22:37
oh, sweet mama, oh, we know

Kristen Duke 22:39
what our kids tendencies are. And we know their imperfections. And her mom knew that she probably maybe was, but maybe that wasn't the best thing to say. Maybe instead, just say that stinks. Like I said, toxic positivity is another one we want to find help. We want to see the bright side of things. I think parents think, Oh, if I let him just come home and be mad or angry or sad, that they're going to grow into a mad, angry, sad individual. And I want them to, you know, see the positive in life and look at the bright side of things. And I think that's what we thought is that they're going to be sad all the time. But no, they actually it's important for them to feel that sad and to be validated. That SAD and MAD is normal when your friends turn their back on you.

Casey O'Roarty 23:17
Right? Yeah. And if we have any history of experiencing that, that's all of a sudden, all of that old hurt back up again comes up. And that's part of our, you know, under the iceberg of our behaviour, right is our pattern. It's Yeah, well,

Kristen Duke 23:33
what I forgot to say is, so going back to the advice thing, when you know, they come in, they vent about their friends, and you say, Oh, that stinks and validate the next day, like, ask if they want your advice. So that's another thing. I've been practising and saying like, Hey, do you want to hear some of my suggestions or thoughts about how you can proceed forward? And I kid you not. Since I've been practising this in the last year to my teen girls, my boys are already moved out of the house. They'll look at me, and they'll hesitate. And I can tell they don't necessarily want to hear but since I asked, they're like, Sure. So I know that that's my window. And I gotta be brief. I gotta get to my point and quickly, and I'll say, you know, I could just had a thought about and maybe you already thought this because I don't want him to think that they didn't already think it or whatever. I just had a thought, you know, what if you write a letter to your friend, and so there's the chance to give advice when you ask permission or a higher likelihood to say yes. And if they say no, I don't really want your advice to Zipit say, Okay, let me know if you change your mind. And either route I say either route you win. It's so winning, because if you say okay, and that you show them that you think that they're capable and show them that you recognise they can handle it. They may come back in an hour or a day or a week or they may not. But for future reference, they're going to remember that they're going to hold it in their heart and they're going to say Wow, mom, actually, let me handle this. And I appreciate that. And that's major trust building. So yeah, my new favourite thing to talk about is ask if they want advice. You can't go wrong either way. Yeah. Even though it's painful to not give your advice if they say no. Well, yeah.

Casey O'Roarty 25:15
And it's so interesting to like, being curious about the dynamic, because I've also been in situations where I've asked, Do you want to hear what I think? And it's like, sure. Sometimes I'm like, No, I honestly, it's okay. I sometimes reiterate like, it's okay for you to say no. Right? Because there is that. Especially I have one child, that's a little more people pleasee than the other one. Sure. One of them's like, No, I don't want your advice. And she's fine with that. My son is a little bit more like, Oh, God, I want to do the right thing. So yeah. So I have to, again, give him true permission to say no. And when he does, I get to be like, Okay, again, it is a win. It is an opportunity for one for him to flex into what's true for him. Yeah. Right. And kind of work on dismantling the people pleasing. And also for me, like you said to show like, I think you're good. I have thoughts, of course, because, right, right, I really appreciate that. You know, what are like two or three other typical blind spots that listeners can kind of do their own reflecting on another one that I was

Kristen Duke 26:27
thinking is catastrophizing, oh, dead in a day? And I think that's kind of like going to the worst case scenario. We talked a little bit about a minute ago, because there are some things that are life altering, but I think it's just doesn't do any good for anyone. But it's really hard because it is part of a mental health challenge also, and some things aren't just Oh, yeah, I know about it. I'm going to change it something's really take extra work. And yeah, potentially with a therapist, you know, yay, therapy. Yes. rewire some of that catastrophizing, because a lot of people either grew up and may not so great choices, so they assume that their kids are going to do the same and their parenting out of fear, or, you know, so much is wrapped around cell phones. There's a lot of fear based parenting around cell phones and social media. I agree and recognise that and at the same time I am team teach your teen how to use it, walk alongside them with it, when you withhold it and say no, it's not good for you, and you didn't learn about it when you're 18. And you're good. My personal philosophy is young adults are struggling to Yeah, so if they're going into the adult world, and then they're learning to navigate social media without you being right there next to them. That's a lot. So while you can decide on a timeframe or whatever, that's fine. So catastrophizing, worst case scenario, another one is lying, because most parents are pretty angry when

Casey O'Roarty 27:47
their teen lies. Oh, my gosh, they sure are like, do

Kristen Duke 27:50
you remember being a teenager? Let's part normalise the fact that teens are gonna lie, or preteens or like, I mean, I remember one of my kids would lie about eating granola bars, because I was like, Okay, kids, this little section of our pantry is for when we make lunches for school. We don't eat prepackaged snacks when we're home, because it's just a pain for mom to have to keep up with that, you know, yeah. So I would find granola bar wrappers. And I was like, this, this is me freaking out. Rappers, you know that this was the rapper deeper talk because most of the rappers, of course, all my kids line up, not me. They all denied it. Somebody was lying. But I didn't know it was you know, eventually I kind of figured out and I realised it. And anyway, so I have a whole module on line as something that teens do. But it's a blind spot how parents react to it. So part of it is it doesn't want to just say like, oh, just let your teens lie. But it's like how you respond to it, and how, you know, I learned I needed to take a chill pill about the wrappers. And I learned, okay, this actually isn't as big of a deal as I'm making it out to be. And at the same time is just kind of talking through when you don't freak out about it. And don't try and catch your kids and I ll stuff then you can say, Hey, I know it was you. And I get it. Granola bars are good. They're fun to eat. They're easy. They're convenient, you know, let's see if we can find some sort of compromise or I want you to learn to be honest, and not for my sake, but for your sake because you know, you start going down little white lies, then you're going

Casey O'Roarty 29:26
to prison. Yes. Sorry. That's

Kristen Duke 29:30
the call talking through like, yeah, letting it slip. Like you don't have to have a punishment because, you know, you

Casey O'Roarty 29:37
can be curious because there's a purpose behind behaviour. And sometimes it's to keep us safe. Sometimes it's to keep them safe. Sometimes it's you know, there's all sorts of so being curious, right, like, that's when I listened to even that it's like, I wanted to jump in there and be like, Ooh, maybe we can make some homemade granola bars right to have on hand right like There's solutions that solve the problem. And inside of that solution finding is the messaging around. You know, it's really important to tell the truth. And I know you love granola bars, right or man, I totally get why you wanted to sneak out last night. Right, right. I'm hearing you say that you felt like the curfew was too strict? And like I would say no. And so let's talk about what it can look like and what we can create together so that I feel safe, and you feel like you have an appropriate amount of freedom, right.

Casey O'Roarty 30:40
It's such a rich, juicy opportunity that get sideswiped when we just freak out. And I was raised in a household where the message was, well, yeah, I mean, you wouldn't be in trouble. But you lied about it. You're grounded for three months, like, Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. And I was like, You know what, I could have come clean about this. And there's no way I wouldn't have been in trouble. Like I call bullshit on that. Right. But I never actually tested it, because I didn't believe it. So I always would lie. And I would typically get found out. Yeah,

Kristen Duke 31:15
right. Yeah. And it is tricky. Because, you know, we know curfews are for a reason. We know that. Things happen after a certain time, we need to go to bed, you've just got to end sometime. So there's some things that are harder to explain it kids won't like it. But I think, you know, compromises. I don't want you home at midnight every night. Let's compromise. How about you know, every once in a while you're out to one or you know, whatever? Or let's

Casey O'Roarty 31:39
find out what's going on, like make your argument. You know, I mean, that's what I kind of talked about with my kids, right? present a case to me. Yeah, present it. Oh, my gosh, when they were little, they really wanted hamsters. And I am not a rodent person at all. Yeah. And I was like, Well, I'm a hard No. But if you want to put together a presentation and see if you can convince me, you can, yeah, they worked so hard, so much to the point where they were like, What are we doing? You know, it was weeks, and they had like, poster board. And then they just kind of gave up. Which was mine, because it was gonna take some pretty significant, I don't know, there was pretty much nothing they could say. But anyway, I thought that was funny. But it's kind of carried on. And now especially with my senior, you know, I'm kind of in the mindset of I'm parenting a year ahead, I really want him to feel so much freedom, so that he can flex into that personal responsibility that he's gonna need to access next year when he's out of the house. Right? For sure. And there's definitely times where I'm like, No, can't do that. Right. And he'll say, Mom, you said you were parenting a year ahead. Right, like, just me. I can be out till 10 Tonight on a Thursday night and still make it to school on time at 830 Tomorrow morning, and I can get enough sleep. And I get to say like, Okay, let's see, right. Because missing school tomorrow morning, isn't as big of a deal. As you know, like me as a college student. I had zero discipline, because I didn't really have a lot of practice because everything was so contained. Yeah. And controlled. I got to college. And it was like, whoo hoo. It was a party. Yeah, it was super extra freedom and a lot of really unhealthy risk taking that I managed to live through, but you know, necessarily growth opportunities. Yeah.

Kristen Duke 33:43
Well, and I was thinking about the phone also, because a lot of parents are like, you know, the phone, I hate the phone, late at night and all that stuff. And it's like, how old is your teenager? You know, if they're, like, 1314, so much different answer for me than if they're 1617? For sure. For sure. And what

Casey O'Roarty 34:02
is their balance look like? Right, like, what does balance look like right now?

Kristen Duke 34:06
Yeah, it's so different for everyone. And so yeah, I've said, like, oh, they really want to have their phone in their room, but I know affects their sleep. And I'm like, in the next year, they're probably not going to live at your house. Yeah. And they're gonna have to figure out on their own, so why not let them step into it when you have the opportunity to help guide them through it?

Casey O'Roarty 34:25
Yeah. And I think that's the key right there. What you just said is help guide them through it. Yeah, having conversations. It's not just like, Okay, well, you're 16 So do whatever you want with your phone, right? The phone keeps coming up. It's been coming up in podcasts and just in general for me, and, man, I'm not here to demonise it but I will say that we are a generation of parents. We didn't know what we were doing. And if you're listening and you have yet to dive into the realm of smartphone, just wait, just wait, just wait at least until they're in high school. Middle schoolers do not need to be on smartphones, they do not need social media, they don't need it. Even if you're sitting right next to him teaching them about it, they do not need it. And all the research is showing that. I mean, mental health crisis COVID wasn't helpful either. But it all correlates with the accessibility of the smartphone. And that is tragic. And something we can do something about. So all of you listening, who have younger kids know that those of us that are ahead of you all wish we would have waited a little bit longer. I know I do. I mean,

Kristen Duke 35:29
nicer options to there were

Casey O'Roarty 35:31
to do that flip phone, like you need to keep track phones, what

Kristen Duke 35:35
I heard people talking about, but now there are I've worked with the gab phone, and there's a pinwheel and yeah, there's a bar to make it more easy to have a basic thing and then to transition.

Casey O'Roarty 35:47
Yeah, yes, yes. Yeah. Anyway, sidebar. I feel like every podcast lately has a little phone sidebar. So it's hot. Boy, okay, thank you, you know, as you work with the people in your membership, and the people that slide into your DMS speaking of social media, and they're working on these blind spots, what are some practices, like some simple practices, because I'm sure that there's listeners that are realising like, oh, yeah, I definitely am relating to some of these things. So what are some ways that you help parents as a mentor, in the practice, right, of recognising because they're so like, it's like a deep groove, some of these tendencies that we have that are getting in the way of his space that feels like our kids can trust? Yeah. What are some practices that you encourage parents to move towards as they try to not? Yeah, navigate these blind spots?

Kristen Duke 36:46
First is within yourself. I'm a big fan of journaling in some way or another, me too, whether it's a note on your phone, and take a little by little, like, what are you working on right now write a little note in your phone and write your progress and write your mess ups. And, you know, having that visual, I've always been a journal writer my whole life, and I have really found, it helps with my recall a lot, it helps me remember what I'm doing. It's like New Year's goals if you don't write it down. And so I'm gonna happen. And so just kind of write your progress as number one, and I'm really a big fan of having an accountability partner, whether it's your spouse, or your mom, or your best friend, or even your teenager, you know, when you're on a journey of self improvement, keeping it to yourself, and journaling, to me is like the baseline, if nothing else, but having someone to bounce ideas off of or like, oh, okay, I just learned about this blind spot of toxic positivity, I need to flesh it out, you know, I need to talk about it. Like, what are your thoughts about it? Or where have you seen it? Or do you see me doing it? Someone who's maybe sees how you do things and being open to you know, if it's your spouse, like, yeah, you kind of have a tendency to find the silver lining. I do. Give me an example. You know, maybe they don't have one or whatever, but, and just talking it through, like, this is what I learned. Every person knows that when you teach it to someone else, that it internalises more, right? So yeah, you learn about it, read, teach it to your accountability partner, so that in the process of telling them and teaching them, it's, you know, sticking in your mind that much more. So accountability partner, like I said, you can have a teenager be one, I have someone in my membership, who she said her son's her accountability partner. But even if your child isn't your accountability partner, I encourage you to at least occasionally, bring them into your journey. Because I think, as challenging and painful as it may be, for some people, I think it really has an opportunity to really strengthen your relationship as you kind of move forward and do start to improve. Because if they don't know that you're on that journey, they're likely not going to see it as well. Yeah.

Casey O'Roarty 38:49
And I love getting feedback from them. Like, Hey, I am kind of realising this thing about myself. Yeah. And I'm wondering if you notice it. Yeah, I noticed that. Okay. How does it make you feel? I think it's actually really motivating for me, as a mom, to hear my kids say, Yeah, that makes me feel really dismissed. Or yeah, that you're sending this message of, you know, whatever. And parents, when we bring them into this conversation, we also get to practice not being defensive, not justifying, right, like my client was talking about this morning. But really, thank you, you know, thank you for sharing your experience with me because they are great perceivers not great interpreters. So we might think that we're all in the clear, when the reality is our kids experience us as as thinking they're not good enough.

Kristen Duke 39:42
They don't even often have the words to say I feel incapable. Yeah. Or I feel like you're treating me like I'm an idiot. But it's like it's those internalised things that and of course, nobody wants them to feel that way. And of course, if a parent realises not all do, but yeah, majority like when they realise, oh, I can adjust the way that I do this. And not only do you strengthen the relationship with them, but you're teaching them about humility, you're teaching them about repair, they're gonna move forward having better relationships with the people in their life, because you've taught them humility and repair and apologising. And doing better and, and self improvement and such great skills to learn at the same time and share model teach all at the same time, too. And I think a lot of it is, you know, talked a lot about the blind spots. One of the people in my membership says, Even the very beginning basic, she's like, I know, I'm supposed to do these things. But I'm having such a hard time changing my nature rewiring myself, because I've been so reactive. So I've been digging a lot more and I've shared this month on Instagram is just that emotional regulation. The foundation is to learn to regulate your emotions so that you can start working on your blind spots, little by little, and we're all pretty dysregulated Yeah, it's a lifetime journey. It really is. So another aspect that I like to tell people is, have grace on yourself. Be patient with yourself. Don't beat yourself up. Because I think a lot of times when people hear I didn't realise I was doing this now I feel terrible. Now I'm a terrible mom, right? You don't know if you've got some feedback, move forward, and work on it and give yourself grace.

Casey O'Roarty 41:15
Yeah, I love that. Yeah. I mean, we're on automatic pilot 90%, if not more of the time. And I think this work that we're inviting parents into is an interruption of that, right. And so it really is work. It's work.

Kristen Duke 41:30
So worth it. So worth it.

Casey O'Roarty 41:32
Of course, it's so worth it. I mean, I want to be in relationship with my kids now. But I really want to be in relationship with my kids later. Like, I want them to want to come home, I want them to want me to have a relationship with my future grandkids, right. I want them to answer when I call little sidebar

Kristen Duke 41:50
is I have a close friend of mine that has recently she's my age and has gone no contact with her parents because her parents didn't learn to emotionally self regulate her parents blamed her as a child blaming her as an adult, and she's got kids and she doesn't want it to seep into her kids. And so there's so much interrelated like you said, yes, what were going on as a teenager, but it gets harder when your kids are adult, it gets harder to not tell them advice when they're adults. And to not tell them they should be doing things differently. So this is just the beginning. Yeah,

Casey O'Roarty 42:21
yeah. So start practising people start practising the message. Thank you so much for everything that you bring into the world. Thank

Kristen Duke 42:28
you. It was enjoyable to chat with you. I geek out on this. I had all sorts of hand movements that people aren't gonna see on the podcast. And I was got really excited a couple of times because I love talking about this. Yes,

Casey O'Roarty 42:40
me too. Me too. And you know, the name of my show is joyful courage. So I'm wondering what does joyful courage mean to you?

Kristen Duke 42:49
Hmm. I love that you probably didn't know this, but my middle name is Joy. So I love everything that has to do with Well, I

Casey O'Roarty 42:54
did do a deep dive on you. Okay, I saw somewhere that your middle name is Joy.

Kristen Duke 42:59
Joyful courage? No, I love that you asked that. And I think you know what I was just saying a second ago about how a lot of moms feel discouraged, because they realise that they're doing things wrong. And I think having that courage to step into that discomfort to step into this repair of yourself of your emotional regulation. And to instead of seeing that as like, drudging, through like, Oh, I'm so terrible, this is what I have to do. Instead, think about what comes on the other side of that is this joyful relationship that you have this opportunity to have. And I'm not gonna say it's failproof. Because I think sometimes people can do a long time down the road work, and it's not received as well. But when you do work to improve yourself, I think you can have that joyful relationship. And that's basically what I'm promising in encouraging people to do is to have courage that on the other side of this self help that you're doing is joy. And that's what we all want is feeling joy in life and feeling joy in our relationships with our kids and other people around us. And it takes work and it takes self reflection. It's hard to do and it's worth it.

Casey O'Roarty 44:04
Where can people find you and follow your work?

Kristen Duke 44:06
I'm mainly on Instagram at Kristin Duke chats. Christian duke.com is my website. I've got a little freebie where I share 10 intentional ways to connect which you can get at Kristen duke.com Or from the link in my bio, Chris do chess.

Casey O'Roarty 44:20
Yes, perfect. I'll make sure listeners that the links are in the show notes. Kristen, thank you so much for hanging out with me today. Yes,

Kristen Duke 44:28
of course. Thanks for asking.

Casey O'Roarty 44:36
Thank you so much for listening in today. Thank you to my spreadable partners as well as Chris Mann and the team at pod shaper for all the support with getting the show out there and making it sound good. Check out our offers for parents with kids of all ages and sign up for our newsletter to stay connected at beasts brothel.com. Tune back in later this week for our Thursday show. And I'll be back with another interview next Monday peace

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